Betsy Hoermann, a young horse handling specialist, is a longtime member of the East Hill Farm staff. And, for any adult learners, don’t go telling Betsy that you can’t learn new things as an adult.
“I had lived in Switzerland and the western US over a span of 30 years,” she pointed out. And in none of those years had she imagined a life riding in circles around a dressage arena.
Before fully committing to a horse career, she’d been a dental hygienist living in Switzerland … and spending her free time in high mountain trail riding in the Alps!
On her return to the U.S., she spent months studying in the Parelli School of Horsemanship in Colorado, then 13 years training horses in Idaho.
“I went to Idaho and I was working with horses, doing everything from imprinting foals… through beginning of riding,” Betsy explained. “I discovered that my favorite thing was working with young horses.”
Young and fearless, she would often be the first to introduce a saddle and bridle to a young horse. She also continued her adventurous trail riding in the Rocky Mountains.
Eleven years ago, she returned to Vermont, and joined the East Hill Farm staff. And, slowly, with the influence of Ruth and others at the farm, Betsy was drawn more and more to try this new discipline.
“The biggest lesson I have learned from Ruth is the appreciation of dressage,” she said. “Riding dressage is always interesting, challenging and brings me much joy.”
Betsy’s greatest dressage accomplishment to-date was her strong partnership with Cynthia Catto’s late Lusitano mare Portia (pictured), with whom she earned multiple high point awards. Never too late to learn a new discipline!
Beyond her riding expertise, her years of horse experience and longevity at the barn speak to both the quality of horse care she provides as well as her joy in this farm.
“I feel like the farm at the same time that it has the formality of high quality dressage, it is very down to earth. The atmosphere is very relaxed.”
She described the farm – staff and boarders – as part of a “sisterhood” in their mission of horse care and training.
“I know the boarders like to be here, and we like to have them here.”
A true horsewoman, Betsy appreciates each day with the horses in her care.
“I am looking forward to riding more often, taking care of the horses, being able to hear the horses munching their hay, hear the clip-clop of their hooves, smelling the wonderful smell of the horses, hay and the farm land. Feeling the softness of the horses’ coats and their noses. Seeing their gorgeous eyes. Studying their powerful movements. Appreciating the outdoors, the beautiful views.”
“And I hope to be healthy, to be able to enjoy these things for years to come,” she emphasized.
And we hope she is and does, too. She is an amazing asset for East Hill Farm and all our residents – horse and human!